With the start of another new year beckoning from around the corner, one can’t help but get a little nostalgic for the past twelve months. For me, it’s been another fantastic year of travelling and so my travel highlights of 2016 were almost too numerous to whittle down for this post.
Here’s a selection of my favourite moments from the past twelve months.
Winter Sun In Tenerife
Australia will feature prominently in this post as it’s where I’ve spent the majority of my year. However, before I left the UK in February I managed to slip in a week’s visit to Tenerife. This turned out to be a brilliant idea because I temporarily escaped the grey clouds and chilly temperatures of an English winter and immersed myself in sunshine, red wine and some gorgeous scenery.
Discovering Perth, WA
February saw me venturing to Western Australia for the first time. I spent several weeks exploring the city of Perth; enjoying beaches, botanical gardens, markets, history and food. Perth became my on-and-off base for my West Coast travels for the next six or so months and I really liked its laid back, outdoorsy vibe. Possibly my favourite activity was heading over to Rottnest Island off the coast of Fremantle to seek out gorgeous little quokkas, the world’s cutest marsupial.
Karijini National Park, WA
I loved every single day of my ten day trip from Perth to Broome but if I was to pick a highlight it would have to have been Karijini National Park. For the first time in Western Australia I felt like I was seeing the real deal: red dirt, blue skies and geology that boggles the mind. I camped out under the stars and during the day clambered down into gorges that dates back millions of years to swim in the pools down at their base.
Turquoise Coast, WA
I spent four months working in the small town of Jurien Bay on the West Coast of Australia, two and a half hours north of Perth. With the waves of the azure blue ocean lapping at the white sandy coastline, it was the perfect place to take daily invigorating walks. I loved getting out and about and enjoying the incredible landscape of The Pinnacles and day trips to local caves.
Darwin and the Northern Territory
I had almost decided that I wasn’t going to add Darwin to my must-do list but I allowed the recommendation of others to win me over. I’m so glad I took the time to visit as I really enjoyed this tiny, tropical city. My favourite part about it was its proximity to the multitude of national parks in the area. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore the surrounds of Darwin as you will not be disappointed with the hikes, swims and camping at your reach.
The Kimberley, WA
The Kimberley is a remote area of northern Western Australia that I urge you to visit. If you’re looking for an outback experience then this section of the country will not disappoint. From the epic 4wd adventure of the Gibb River Road, to hikes through secret gorges and sunset boat cruises; this lesser-travelled part of Australia has adventure in bucket loads.
The South West of Western Australia
From endless vineyards to pristine beaches, caves to forests; the south west of WA really packs in a diversity that surprised me. I hired a car and drove a ten day return route from Perth to Albany on the south coast. The Margaret River region is not-to-be missed for all those who love their wines and locally made food such as cheese, chocolate and preserves. For outdoorsy types, don’t miss the beautiful Karri tree forests near Pemberton and check out several of the stunning caves hidden away in the area, such as Lake Cave.
The Red Centre, NT
I finally came face-to-face with the iconic Uluru this year and it has become one of my favourite trips in Australia to date. There was something very spiritual about the area and it was fantastic to explore the area, along with Kata Juta, and learn a little about the indigenous significance. The sunsets, sunrises and sleeping out under a million stars in the Outback will be memories that stay with me forever.
The Great Ocean Road, VIC
One of Australia’s most famous road trips, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is not to be missed. I actually drove this in ‘reverse’ from Adelaide in South Australia to Melbourne over three days. My favourite parts were koala spotting in Cape Otway and the rugged coastline drive. Try to avoid the crowds by visiting slightly off season and timing your visits to the big attractions like the 12 Apostles to first thing in the morning or later in the evening.
It’s difficult to summarise a twelve day trip in a state as jam-packed as Tasmania. For such a seemingly small place Tasmania overwhelmed me with its dense forest, rolling green hills, pristine waterways, mountains and beaches. My highlights here had to be the Museum of Old and Modern Art in Hobart for an engaging and varied collection in a unique setting. I also loved the road trip itself; I drove for 2550 kilometres over mountains, round lakes and along the coastline. Always beautiful, sometimes challenging, the drive across Tasmania was sheer pleasure.
Travel Highlights of 2016
I’m still catching my breath after the last few months of concentrated travel and so there’s absolutely tons more to share with you on the blog. Although this was just a whistle-stop tour covering the past year, these travel highlights of 2016 will provide me with enough material to write for months.
Thank you to everyone who’s followed along for the ride. If you’ve missed any of my more musing posts about how it feels to travel then jump on over to this summary of my personal favourites.
What has been your favourite trip this year? What are your plans over the Christmas period? Share your own favourite travel moments with me in the comments! Give me some inspiration for next year.
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